City officials tentatively agreed Tuesday to make up the difference between city pay and military pay for six city employees in Operation Desert Storm.

Five police officers and one firefighter who are members of reserve component military units are on active duty because of Operation Desert Storm. Like most Reserve and National Guard members, military pay is lower than their civilian pay.Employers are required to give their workers who are members of a reserve component military organization a leave of absence without pay and hold a job for them when they return from active duty. Making up the difference between civilian and military wages is an option that has been exercised by some Utah employers to show their support for employees called to military service.

Being without five police officers has hurt the department and has taxed the overtime budget as remaining officers fill shifts vacated by the five who are gone. "But we still had money in our overtime account," said Assistant Police Chief Steve Shreeve. "The money that was appropriated for their wages is still there so that doesn't put us in a financial bind."

A final vote on the measure is scheduled during the Thursday evening City Council meeting.